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Bloviating Zeppelin: WHO Put The Cat There?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

WHO Put The Cat There?

Geoffrey Nunberg has written a book entitled (get ready) "Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism Into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show."

Whew. What a title.

The premise of the book is that the Democrats are victims of having themselves or allowing themselves to be defined by those hooligans on the Right. Nunberg bemoans that "liberal" is now associated with "malevolence, anarchy, elitism and irresponsibility." Liberals, in turn, have seemingly disassociated themselves from the word and now tend to embrace "progressive."

That part I know to be true; how many times has a conservative talk show host, most specifically Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager, attempted to get a liberal guest to admit that they are the "L" Word and that guest has refused? Many times. They'll now admit to "progressive" but not to "liberal." I find that most odd. If you're in fact a liberal then stand up and admit it. You're not a "progressive" -- "progressive" is for rock music like Magna Carta, King Crimson and Porcupine Tree.

Enough of the book review; I simply want to respond to the above paragraph. Nunberg writes the obvious.

To begin, Liberalism does consist of tax raisers, latte drinkers, sushi-eaters, Volvo drivers, NY Times readers, those with body piercings, lovers of Hollywood and yes, the Left is a Freak Show.

Like the cat with its head in a glass, no one put the Left there but themselves. And the Left's reaction, poor poor poor people, is merely a response to the Right's deciding that they were going to find their voice.

I've written this once but shall emphasize it again: the so-called culture and political "wars" in America only started when the Right decided to voice its stance. The Left had their voice carried for them in the Mainstream Media for years and, as the Left leaned farther left, the Right became increasingly frustrated. The true breakthrough did in fact come via AM radio when a little fuzzball was given a chair at KFBK in 1984 Sacramento. Oooh, 1984 -- chilling!

Rush Limbaugh provided the voice and the venue for those of a conservative bent and a movement was started. There are those who would credit the political process itself for the Right finding its voice -- and certainly the Ronald Reagan years should not be discounted as it was during the temper of these times that RL worked his way to syndication in 1988.

From there the wars began. After literally decades of ruling all forms of media and, moreover, its content, liberals were most chagrined to discover AM radio shortly became the bastion of conservatives. It took literally years for the Left to even attempt inroads to AM radio via Air America -- and we all know how solvent and powerful AA is currently.

From there, the internet blossomed. Conservatives took to the net like fish to water. This in turn led to various conservative magazines with links to the internet, Fox News and, most recently, to my venue -- the blog. Conservatives are big in the Blogosphere.

As grew the voice of Conservatives, so the Left and liberals felt (because, let's face it, they were) more challenged. Not everything they said and espoused was accepted by rote. Persons actually had, egads, the temerity to speak up and attempt to refute what the MSM said and wrote. And, egads, it was proven time and again that the MSM occasionally seemed to omit some very salient things from their stories -- some people call them facts.

Liberals then, during that transition and now (witness this book and others) feature themselves the victims in this heinous and oppressive power grab by the Right.

What happened is this: common people found a voice. They found an outlet for their frustrations. People from the heartland. People from the working class who wanted to get ahead and didn't want the government to do it for them. People who wanted to be left alone to prosper. People who believe in Capitalism and believe that hard work should yield benefits. People who believe in a higher being as did our Founding Fathers, who believed in justice, in ethics and morals.

So in truth, Conservatives haven't "fought back" -- they just had the gall to voice their beliefs and concerns in a way they never had before.

And that's what's threatening to liberals.

Make no mistake: Leftist dogma is every bit a religion; Leftists believe the greatest enemy is the United States, the epitome of Capitalism. Capitalism by its nature must exploit people, so a major country like America, as a capitalistic leader, must be overthrown just as any capitalist oppressor must be overthrown. Anti-big, anti-corporate. Anti-capitalist. Anti-success.

And one step beyond equality of opportunity -- the Left wants a guaranteed equality of outcome. And that's just not feasible or realistic. Lazy and stupid people simply exist. Life itself tends to thin the herd and frequently that's a good thing.

When there are bad days and blank days and times when I don't feel like blogging -- well, those are the days I have to continue making my little teeny mark on the Blogosphere and why I simply mustn't quit. Conservatives must never quit.

"Poor kitty! Who put his head in the glass? -- for surely he couldn't be responsible!"



Blogger Gayle said...

You certainly told it like it is with this one, BZ. Good for you! No, liberals will never take responsibility for any of their actions, nor will they ever admit to being wrong.

Rush Limbaugh did indeed start a movement, thank heaven. I really appreciate that man! :)

Fri Sep 22, 08:05:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...

I will agree that liberals have allowed the word “liberal” to take on negative connotations. I for one espouse to be a liberal and I make no bones about it. But the same thing happened to conservatives, hence the “Compassionate Conservative” label. It’s part of American politics. If liberals would claim their label then define it, and stand by it, this entire debate would become an exercise in futility because then we’d just have to agree to disagree and get into the details of policy.

Where I will adamantly disagree with you is that liberals believe that “the greatest enemy is the United States.” What we believe is that the United States is the greatest power and to whom much is given, much is required. We believe in capitalism but do not believe that “market forces” is the end all to be all with regards to social policy.

We do not believe in guaranteed equality of outcome but a guaranteed quality of opportunity and access – and even that has limitations because we are dealing with limited resources. So I know a school in Watts will never have the same resources as a school in Beverly Hills. However, I should expect the school in Watts to produce children ready to compete in this economy. There will always be those that rise to the top and those that meander in mediocrity.

There are degrees of liberalism. There are some that advocate that government has no responsibility to the people out side of national security and law enforcement. They seek to abolish all business regulations, civil right laws, public education and anything else they feel should be left to the individual or the free market (Liaise-fare). Then you have you anarchist – and really have no idea what they want to get rid of everything.

I certainly don’t believe that “common people” is synonymous with conservative. My main concern with conservatism today is that it has a scorched earth approach to policy. It is very dogmatic and any variation from its stated goal is regarded as capitulating to the enemy.

Neither liberals nor conservatives are out to destroy this country. However, as long as we are not honest brokers in bridging the differences to create policy, then this entire country will suffer.

Fri Sep 22, 09:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I actually have no problems with 19th century liberals and conservatives... I was obviously born in the wrong century. Up to the hijacking of liberal ideology in the post-WWII era, liberalism stood for the equality of man and need to minister to the downtrodden and those forgotten by society. Those liberals also heard the call from Kennedy when he asked them what they could do for their country.

That, sadly, has changed.

The Transnational Progressivists have undermined that laudible liberalism and are instituting something wholly simplistic and destructive.

From the link:

"The key concepts of transnational progressivism are:

Groups are what matter, not people. You are "Black" or "Christian" or "Mexican" or "Afghan" or "Sunni", you are not yourself. You also don't get to choose your group; it's inherent in what you were when you were born. Someone else will categorize you into your group, and you will become a number, a body to count to decide how important that group is. And your group won't change during your lifetime.

The goal of fairness is equality of result, not equality of opportunity. It isn't important to let individuals fulfill their potential and express their dreams, what's important is to make groups have power and representation in all things proportional to their numbers in the population. Fairness is for groups, not for individuals. The ideally fair system is based on quotas, not on merit, because that permits proper precise allocation of results.

Being a victim is politically significant. It's not merely a plea for help or something to be pitied; it's actually a status that grants extra political power. "Victimhood" isn't a cult, it's a valid political evaluation. Groups which are victims should be granted disproportionately more influence and representation, at the expense of the historic "dominant" culture.

Assimilation is evil. Immigrants must remain what they were before they arrived here, and should be treated that way. Our system must adapt to them, rather than expecting them to adapt to us (even if they want to). The migration of people across national borders is a way to ultimately erase the significance of those borders by diluting national identity in the destination country.

An ideal democracy is a coalition where political power is allocated among groups in proportion to their numbers. It has nothing to do with voting or with individual citizens expressing opinions, and in fact it doesn't require elections at all. A "winner take all" system, or one ruled by a majority, is profoundly repugnant because it disenfranchise minority groups of all kinds and deprives them of their proper share of power.

National identity is evil. We should try to think of ourselves as citizens of the world, not as citizens of the nations in which we live, and we should try to minimize the effects of national interests, especially our own if we live in powerful nations."

The goals are anti-Nation and wholly undemocratic by removing personal rights from the menu. Espouse them and your goal is Empire.... weaken the Nation, lose the rights and capability of supporting same... and then lose your personal identity.

Those that cast out labels are doing that work... the progressivists started and have polarized every issue. Put out nice and convenient labels and you no longer have to treat people as individuals, just as a label. I refuse to join in polarization and applying labels save for *actions*. Everyone is held accountable for actions as they are the things that make the world... bad ideas I care neither here nor there about... but horrid actions in carrying them out need be addressed.

Buy into being a liberal or conservative, Right or Left and you buy into polarization. You are, in fact, giving away your right to decide on your own about things and just following a label based script.

I stand *for* all options that We the People have and search for a *better* way to help people stand on their own and not make them beholden unto government. Because *that* is freedom. Passing the buck up to government loses you the right to *complain* about how that buck is spent and have it spent in ways you do *not* like.

We continually forget that. By giving money and responsibility to government, We lose say in our lives. Do that enough and soon the basis of having those rights is endangered.

Big government has failed in those things that have been added on to it, to the point where the essentials of defending the Nation properly can no longer be done. That is the stark choice we are facing as a People: continue giving government more to do and poorly, and we become impoverished and ripe for dissolution... hold onto our rights and our money and insist that things be spent sparely and wisely with high accountability and things change. We the People agree to our responsibilities *first*. Handing them to government is abdication of what it means to be a People.

Not everything will be addressed as any single individual would like it to be. Large problems will go unaddressed until attention is called to them. You cannot get overnight change on large-scale social problems, but you can make the Citizenry aware of it and start to address it. We the People hand out more in private charity than any other Nation's government. And if I remember correctly, we give out more by donation from private citizens than the Federal Government gives out.

The problem is *not* Americans being stingy.

It is unaccountable and inefficient government eroding at Our rights as a People to ensure things are done properly.

Make government much smaller and people will spend much more on giving. And in higher proportion because they will feel *richer*. Strange how that works... but that is the Republic for you: the kindest people on the planet and a target for hatred because of that kindness.

We do hold ourselves to a higher standard. Now if only the critics would hold everyone *else* to that same standard and not the 'sliding scale'.

Fri Sep 22, 11:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I like sushi. Do you think I might be a liberal? If I am does that mean I have to dress like a hippie, sport a pony tail and trade in my bible for phish albums? Yeah, I like sushi.

Sat Sep 23, 12:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

James: yes, labels have changed. But therein lies the rub; I listen to liberal disclaim their liberalism -- one thing I respect about you. You make no bones about it and are plain and clear. Clarity is great. And I agree again when you indicate that, once labels have been discounted, then perhaps issues can be addressed.

With regard to "the greatest enemy" of course I do not mean yourself. I can tell where you stand with regard to your country and, again, I can respect someone who still stands for their country and realizes, as you do, that the US is NOT the enemy -- and I'm sure that when you respond to this, I'm not pointing at James -- I'm pointing at the persons who really do NOT love or care for or do nothing but denigrate their country -- or, those on the UltraLeft, actually want to see it disbanded.

You write about Watts and Beverly Hills. You and I both know there will be kids issuing forth from BH that will predominantly be completely useless in Life, having been spoon fed and come to rely on handouts and handups. Being a BH student is no guarantee of having acquired an education -- one has to WANT it AND be open to it. Something I learned in college.

And yes, oh yes yes yes, there ARE degrees of liberalism! Without a doubt. As there are degrees of Conservatism. You may or may not know, I do not pull the complete Bush line nor the GOP line. Bush has made mistakes and I've called him on them. Unfortunately, as likely with many decisions you've had to make, sometimes things come down to the Real World "lesser of two evils." And the GOP is certainly NOT comprised of Saints, by any means.

But I disagree with you on one aspect -- I fervently DO believe that there are liberals who think this country DOES need to be taken down and cannot, for whatever reason, foresee the consequences of such an action. Many of those persons, Noam Chomsky, for example -- I believe have actual mental problems.

There are those of the Ultra Left and Ultra Right. They are Wack Cadets of either stripe. But as long as too many people think and vote with their hearts instead of their mind, mindful of facts and reality, that bridge of which you write will have detours placed in our way.

BWH: how come we've never seen a shot of the back of your head? I might not be convinced there isn't a ponytail there -- kinda like some samurai.

Gayle: back when I was still stringing with KFBK I met Rush and knew then that he would be a driving force in the industry. Good and bad: he also forced syndication and this alone has been responsible for the almost total death of "local radio" -- meaning that, unless one is syndicated, one will NEVER make the big bucks because stations want NAMES and a full Arbitron book.

AJ: Hooyeah! Lesser government WILL make people want to be more giving and caring. Is that EVER a truism! Money SHOULD STAY at the local level and the Fed should only be responsible for national roads, air networks and our defense. Period.


Sat Sep 23, 11:38:00 AM PDT  

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